Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!
This week, Sonic’s dad got arrested and two publishers are hypocrites
Yuji Naka Arrested for Insider Trading
Sonic co-creator Yuji Naka has been arrested for insider trading.
The arrest is one of several people who’ve been caught by Japanese authorities in a scheme involving an announcement of a new Dragon Quest game at Square Enix back in 2020. Prior to its announcement, a number of individuals purchased shares in Aiming, the developer who’d been contracted to produce the game.
Many of these individuals were Square Enix employees, who would have known about the project prior to its public announcement. Using this knowledge, they allegedly purchased shares in Aiming, knowing that the announcement of them making a new Dragon Quest would massively increase their share price. Yuji Naka, then working on Balan Wonderworld at the publisher, is reported to have been one of these insiders.
Naka is alleged to have purchased 10,000 shares in Aiming, worth around 2.8 million yen, around £16,000 or US$20,000. Which doesn’t feel like a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but at least Japan takes stuff like this seriously. Even if it does sound weird to hear one of Sonic’s creators may be heading to jail.
Ubisoft & Riot Request We Do as They Say, Not as They Do
Ubisoft and Riot have teamed up to reduce toxicity in in-game chats. The initiative, called Zero Harm in Comms, intends to encourage players to be more respectful of each other, and ultimately using AI to detect and tackle behaviour they deem unacceptable.
Which is all very well and good, and ordinarily I’d support their efforts to clean up certain communities. However, we need to remember who’s doing this.
Ubisoft, of course, have been the subject of several sexual harassment allegations, and an organisation, A Better Ubisoft, has been formed by their employees to push management to address these issues properly. Allegations also suggest that several perpetrators still have stock in the company, while others have simply been moved to other departments instead of facing real consequences.
Riot aren’t much better, as they have been forced to pay $100m as part of a class action lawsuit launched against the company due to systemic sexual harassment and discrimination.
So it’s a bit rich that two companies with such significant internal toxicity feel it appropriate to lecture everyone else on their behaviour. Want to get Activision in on your initiative while you’re at it?
Golden Joystick Awards
This week saw the announcement of the Golden Joystick Awards from GamesRadar.
Voted for by the public, the final winners were revealed this week in an online digital ceremony presented by omnipresent voice actors Laura Bailey and Troy Baker. Elden Ring was the big winner, taking away awards for Visual Design and Multiplayer, the Critics’ Choice Award and Ultimate Game of the Year, while FromSoftware won Studio of the Year.
Other notable winners include Stray for PlayStation Game of the Year, Return to Monkey Island for PC Game of the Year, Cult of the Lamb for Best Indie and Horizon Forbidden West for Best Storytelling. The Steam Deck won Best Hardware in category that also featured a mouse and a hard drive, which doesn’t feel particularly fair.
You can find the full list here.
Due to illness last week, here are a bunch of new releases from the past two weeks!
A few indie games about resource management to talk about. Flat Eye (PC) is a simulation of a futuristic technology hub crossed with a narrative experience, all about the potential dangers of future tech. Floodland (PC) is a colony builder set in a world wrecked by climate change. Frozen Flame (PC) is a survival and crafting game set in a harsh fantasy environment.
Bound By Blades (PC) is an action RPG populated by cute anthropomorphic creatures. Bravery & Greed (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One) is a combo-heavy roguelike dungeon crawler. Zero Sievert (PC) is a survival shooter set in a dark procedurally generated world full of monsters. Ship of Fools (PC, PS5, Switch, Xbox X/S) is a naval roguelike where you command a ship of foolish adventurers.
Oakenfold (PC) is a roguelike strategy game about manipulating time and does not, in fact, have anything to do with the DJ and producer who made the original Big Brother UK TV theme (shame). Dysterra (PC) is a sci-fi FPS survival game where you compete with friends for resources.
In more narrative driven games, Edengate: The Edge of Life (PC) is about a woman who wakes up to find a demolished and abandoned society where she struggles to find answers. Goodbye World (PC) is a game about two indie game creators where the game shifts focus between their development efforts and the games they create. Please Be Happy (PC, Switch) is a visual novel about a Korean fox girl who finds herself in New Zealand as she tries to figure out how humans work. And Mirages of Winter (PC) is a cosy little puzzle game about a fisherman trying to survive the winter.
Gungrave: G.O.R.E. (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is a stylish third-person shooter that acts as a return for an old PS2 game. Developed by a Korean studio, this game takes players through 12 hours of shooting and martial arts action in a futuristic Asia.
Speaking of stylish over-the-top gun action, Evil West (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) presents the player with a Wild West setting full of violent vampire attacks, and you play as the slayer who’ll save humanity.
Goat Simulator 3 (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is what happens when a joke goes too far. The sequel to physics-based joke game Goat Simulator (and no, there is no Goat Simulator 2), this is more of what you’d expect from the original game but…more.
Pentiment (PC, Xbox) is the latest game from Obsidian, but don’t expect a huge sprawling WRPG from this. Instead, it’s a smaller scale narrative that focuses on a murder mystery set in the margins of medieval manuscripts.
Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me (PC, PlayStation, Xbox) is the latest of the Dark Pictures series of choice-driven horror games. You should know what to expect with these games by now – think bite-sized Until Dawns that you can play with friends. This one’s set in a haunted murder hotel, because of course it is. Also, Paul Kaye’s in it, which surprised me.
Pokémon Scarlet/Violet (Switch) is the latest generation of the juggernaut that is the Pokémon franchise. Set in a new world based loosely on Spain and featuring legendary Pokémon that can be ridden around like bikes, Scarlet and Violet are also proving buggy as hell yet fun.
Games of the Week
Two Games of the Week this week, covering this week and last week.
Last week’s Game of the Week is Somerville (PC, Xbox), the latest game from the developers of Limbo and Inside.
And that’s what you should be expecting from Somerville, except this particular cinematic platformer runs from right to left. You play as a father who gains strange powers after aliens come to earth, and with these powers you can manipulate the environment in interesting ways to solve puzzles.
It’s exactly what you’d expect from a cinematic platformer, especially one from a developer behind Limbo. Tricky puzzles, inscrutable storyline and a minimalist art style. Good stuff deserving of a Game of the Week award, I feel.
This week’s Game of the Week is Cats and the Other Lives (PC), yet another game I’ve awarded this to this year about playing as a cat.
This is a point and click adventure about a family who head to a deceased relative’s ancient home, which is full of family secrets. You play as the cat, who helps the family uncover these secrets through puzzles that utilise all the skills that cats know best.
It looks like a cute, emotional little story and it’s hard to resist “you play as a cat” as a general concept, so Game of the Week it is.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.